Do you think the event puts youngsters in unnecessary danger?
15 May 2007 09:17
Bosses of a Norfolk naturist camp have hit back at claims its youth rally involving children as young as 14 will place them in danger of falling prey to paedophiles.
The Broadland Sun Association's four-day International Naturist Youth Rally begins tomorrow (Wed) and is targeted specifically at people aged between 14 and 27.
This has sparked fears amongst family and child protection groups that unsupervised children will be easy prey for sexual predators.
However, Ivan Page, treasurer at the camp, in Stoke Holy Cross dismissed the claims, saying it was used to having children at the site, as it was family-friendly. They also reiterated the fact no one is forced to take their clothes off at the event and it is open to British Naturism members only.
He said: “No child is allowed at this event without their parents' consent and to suggest that children could strip naked without their parents' knowledge is a complete and utter misrepresentation.
“Broadland and all the other camps in the East pride ourselves on being family clubs. Not once has any child been told they have to strip off and it does not happen.
“Whoever said that just does not appreciate the atmosphere at a family friendly naturist club. The only place where clothes are not allowed is the swimming pool.
“We have also got a secure site and it's complete and utter rubbish to say it could be a paedophiles' paradise. We have got nothing to be ashamed of and it's quite annoying to think that people would say that.”
Trevor Lewis, South Norfolk councillor for Stoke Holy Cross, said he had no issues with the camp.
He said: “I have no knowledge of any problems there. In some quarters there seems to be confusion between nudity and sex which the naturist movement is trying to counter.”
Linda Read, Stoke Holy Cross parish council clerk, added she'd had no complaints about the camp. “It's very well-hidden and you cannot see it from the road,” she said.
But Dr Adrian Rogers, of Family Focus, said: “Young girls and boys should not be running around without clothes on in front of strangers. Anyone could be snooping around for the wrong reasons - either from the camp or from outside.
“This event would appear to be a paradise for paedophiles.”
Michelle Elliott, director of children's charity Kidscape, said: “To have children of 14 and 15 at this kind of event unsupervised is absolutely absurd and shocking.”
The event will see British, Dutch, Spanish, German, and French naturists pitch up their tents and embark on four days of activities.
At a cost of £35, they can attend a swimming gala, disco, karaoke, arts and crafts workshops and a Hawaiian evening.
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